Thursday, May 28, 2020

Create Your Health Mentality

In a webinar (link below) on staying fit in the "COVID" era we panelists were asked for three things we could recommend people do to stay "fit." As I listened to other contributors share their ideas, I realized my yoga practice gave me a unique perspective on not only what I considered to be fitness but what the line items on the fitness to-do list would be. During class that week I spoke to those ideas (see video below).

Instead of specifics about what exercises to do, or what plans to follow, or how to set goals, I believe that the focus needs to lie in a practice of knowing where you are in your mind and body on any given day. So whether you are in the middle of a global pandemic (as we are as of May 28, 2020) trying to find new ways to exercise with gyms closed, working on bettering our own fitness level, or just starting out with any kind of movement practice, I believe applying these three concepts can help create a better "health mentality."

1. Breathe

Literally, take a breath. Feel the inhale, and feel the exhale. In yoga, the practice of breathing is called Pranayama, and it has as much importance in yoga as the poses, and as the meditation. We can go without food and water for far longer periods than we can without breath. Each inhale and exhale changes our blood pressure, our blood pH level, and stimulates different aspects of our nervous system.

If we take the time to put a pause between what we observe happening in our lives, and how we react to them, we give ourselves an opportunity to act with more forethought, more compassion, more mindfulness, and less regret. 

When we take a long exhale, we immediately destress. Our heart rate slows, tension leaves our shoulders, our bellies relax. Deeper inhales can awaken the body and refresh. Longer exhales balance the body's CO2 levels; we get a chance to exercise the lungs, the diaphragm, and the intercostal muscles between the ribs.

Breathing is fundamental. Breath is life.

2. Try

Try an activity that works for you. Yoga, walking, pilates, cycling, zumba, barre; try something. Try something new if you feel that you are in a rut. Some people crave routine, going to gym or same class ever day at the same time every week. 

As of the writing of this post, we have all been unable to continue with our regular routines. Even I was not a fan of "online yoga" classes because I did not like doing videos by myself. But with the plethora of live online classes, and needing to move, not only did I start teaching online classes but taking them as well. I also starting watching pre-recorded videos to find out which ones might be worth keeping in the tool belt for when I'm unable in the future to get to a live class.

The point is that we need to try, rather than begrudge the situation. We never know what curve life will hand you. An injury can drastically change how and what we are able to move, so being open to trying something (new) is imperative. 

Trying things that are new and struggling for mastery can be frustrating for those that like a sense of success. So I offer the idea that the trying is the success. Expectations for mastery are rooted in ego (pride). Practice is the tool by which we improve, and perfection is an illusion. 

The wonderful thing is, if frustration overwhelms the joy in the attempt, you can try something new again. If at first you don't succeed...

3. Nourish

Healthy eating is essential. A poorly nourished body cannot repair itself in times of illness, and the brain cannot function optimally. For the clearest thinking, and in order to give yourself every opportunity for success, not just in fitness, it's imperative to put in the right ingredients and to properly hydrate the body machine every day.

But this isn't just about food and water. Nourishment comes from feeding the mind and the spirit. During this time of social isolation, many dread being alone. Nourishing our need for social interaction and companionship requires creativity. Social media can be used for connecting with friends (rather than reading stressful news). Phone calls versus texts can provide much needed interaction. Online social group meetings, yoga classes, church services even proms have come into fashion to enable introverts and extroverts alike the ability to connect to people outside their own homes. It's commendable how many institutions have embraced technology to bring their communities together. 

Nourish your mind with good books, crossword puzzles, music, and dance. Nourish your skin with massage and lotion. Nourish your relationships with and exchange of loving words, or a shared activity. Nourish your spirituality with prayer and meditation. 

Try (there's that word again) something new to feed your soul!

The Practice

We are living in a time of crisis that for me (in my acknowledged privileged situation) is a first. I'm grateful I can sit here in health, with a roof over my head, and type this post. I can't ignore the impact this crisis is having on people I know, so I wrote this hoping that maybe these three tips might offer someone practical information, so they can get through another day, be there for their family and friends, stay healthy so they can go to work, or simply feel strong enought to be a supportive community member. 

Even if we weren't being bombarded by health reports and press conferences and worrisome statistics about COVID-19, daily life still has a lot of stress.  That's when it's even more important to take a deep breath, try something new, and nourish your spirit. Pause. Sit down. Take 10 slow deep breaths. Decide the next step that feels right. What will it be for you today?

Listen to the entire Becker Group C-Suite Reports Business Leadership Webinar: "Staying Physically Fit in the COVID-19 Era" (May 2020):

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

More Online Yoga Opportunities with Anne Joseph

If you are looking to supplement your yoga practice and want to try something new, may I suggest getting on the mat with Anne Joseph

Anne has the highest rank of Certified Yoga Teacher (E-RYT-500), is trained in Chinese Medicine and is also a Certified Massage Therapist. She is a former master instructor and director of the YogaWell Registered Yoga School, where I studied, and an long-time instructor at the YMCA of San Diego.

Her current weekly online schedule is as follows:
  • Tuesdays: 5:00pm - 6:15pm
  • Wednesdays:  10:30am - 11:30am/12:00pm
  • Fridays: 9:05am - 10:20am
  • Saturdays: 10:00am - 11:00am
Classes are free but have a suggested donation of $10-15 via PayPal or check (give what you can). Reach out to Anne Joseph via email to register for the Zoom link/passcode.

Monday, May 18, 2020

BYOMyoga is a panelist for this Webinar: Fitness in the Era of Covid-19

Tueday May 19, 2020 1:00 PM EST/12:00 PM CST/11:00 AM MST/ 10:00 AM PST

This webinar will focus first on thoughts and advice on how to stay physically fit in the COVID-19 era. Second, we will discuss some thoughts around the business of fitness.

5 great panelists including:
  • Jessica Cole, President / CEO at Becker’s Healthcare
  • Jackie Gadd, Owner/Instructor at ByomYoga
  • Mark Beier, Owner of Owner of Mark Beier, LLC “On The Go Health & Fitness”
  • Jeremy Walton, owner of the Walton Method
  • Steve Werner, Founder of Hour of Champions Training
Moderated by Scott Becker, Partner, McGuireWoods, Publisher, Becker's Healthcare, Publisher Becker Group Business Strategy 

Free/Lower Cost Internet Access for Seniors, Disabled, and Lower Income Households
The Allconnect® guide to low-income internet options and affordable internet plans can help you identify government assistance, income-based and provider-specific programs that offer low-income internet for families, students and seniors on a fixed income.

List of low cost Internet provider plans for low income Americans including broadband, DSL, high-speed cable, and 3G 4G cell phone wireless internet access.

The Access program from AT&T provides discounted Internet access at affordable monthly rated for qualified customers. If you qualify via income or participation in the National School Lunch or Head Start programs, you can apply online above. Select SNAP as the qualifying program and provide proof of eligibility for your income or program.

There are government subsidies that can help with your internet bill, and many Internet Service Providers (ISPs) offer low-income internet programs. These inexpensive internet plans, income based programs, and low-income family plans help reduce the cost of staying connected.
Update: In response to COVID-19 developments, some internet providers are offering free services to low-income families and households with students. We’ll keep you updated with the latest here to help you stay connected. And for more information about the internet during COVID-19, check out our guide to internet service during the pandemic. 

Note: Unless you’re already enrolled in a low-income assistance program like public housing or SNAP, it is unlikely that you qualify for assistance paying for home Internet. However, many providers have plans geared towards low-income customers.

If you are trying to get connected to the internet right away, several national providers have opened up their low-income internet programs, allowing you to receive free connectivity for up to two months if you qualify.

We rounded up 8 sources of low cost internet for seniors. Availability depends on location and financial situation, but these programs are well worth checking into.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Free Yoga for Veterans with OG Yoga

OG Yoga in San Diego is offering two new classes specially designed to serve our Military, First Responder, and Healthcare communities. You can start and end your week with retired Marine, OG Yoga Instructor Jimmy for his two special classes that are FREE for Veterans, Active Duty, First Responders, Healthcare Workers, and Family:
Mondays, 3-4 PM PDT - Intro to Veteran's Alignment Flow
The Monday classes are open to all for $10 per drop-in. But if you are a veteran, active duty, first responder, healthcare worker, or family member, please contact to access Monday's class for FREE!

Fridays, 4-5 PM PDT - Veterans Conscious Class with Connected Warriors
In partnership with Connected Warriors, Friday's class is FREE to sign-up for all veterans, active duty, first responders, healthcare workers, and family. 

Check out this introductory video where Jimmy explains how Veterans Yoga is different and the benefits of a regular yoga practice for our service members:

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Workshop: Accessing and Using Your Inner Wisdom with Shayna Kaufmann, PhD

This Saturday, May 16, in lieu of her postponed all day workshop, Shayna Kaufmann ( will be virtually hosting a gathering from 11-12:30 on Accessing and Using Our Inner Wisdom - something that can serve us incredibly well during challenging, unchartered times.  

To sign up, use this link.

Attendance is free (donations are optional). 

Here are some lovely words of wisdom from this wonderful speaker, therapist, meditation facilitator, and friend: 


The greatest gift you can give yourself today

is the gift of slowness. Paying attention.

As if today were the last day of your life.

As if you wanted to remember it all.

Drink it in.

Absorb the morning.

Inhale the afternoon.

And when the evening comes,

rest in its cooling embrace.

See, today:

The way the breath rises and falls.

What it feels like to have a body.

What a tension feels like. An ache.

A wave of pleasure. Hunger.

What it feels like to have hands.

To feel sadness. To feel joy.

To be alive on this day.

Drench this day in awareness, friend.

Slow down. Pay attention to the small things,

which are not small when seen

through the eyes of God.

Out of the mind, and into the Now.

Out of futures and pasts,

regrets and anticipations,

and into this alive Presence.